Goodman Connections

The Goodman family (nominally of the Hecla/Gimli area, but now spread everywhere) of which I am a part has some connected surnames that family members sometimes wonder about the origins of. My Umma (that in itself is odd, most Icelandic grandmothers are Ammas, but ours have always been Ummas, at least in my branch of the Goodmans) talked a lot about these connections, and made sure I got them down in writing so that they'd be clear to people for posterity. Posterity of the 21st century is the Internet, so here it is: if you're from Manitoba, and your surname is Goodman, Cooney, Arnisson, Dodds, or Christianson, or a spelling variation of these, this might be of interest to you (though these are not uncommon names and there are many Icelanders in Manitoba who are not related to me!). The interconnected surnames in the Goodman family are largely due to multiple marriage and half-siblings, coupled two changes in modern times: the Anglicism of Icelandic surnames and the move away from patronymics (the use of the father's given name to form a child's surname). The root of all these individuals is my Umma's "Daddy-Umma", Rannveig Sveinbjörnardóttir (Sveinbjörn's Daughter), and so to explain the family connections I begin with her and then move to her children and their marriages individually.

Family of Rannveig Sveinbjörnardóttir, i.e. the Goodmans, Cooneys, Arnissons, Dodds, and Christiansons

Rannveig Sveinbjörnardóttir [1,2, and as a much younger woman in 3,4] (also spelled Sveinbjarnardottir in some anglicized records) was born March 6, 1836 in Fagridalur, Ţingeyjarsýsla, Iceland. She had two husbands, and had children from each. Her first marriage was to Brynjölf Arnisson, sometime before she emigrated to Canada in 1875. He was significantly older than her, and died before she came to Canada. This marriage produced two children, Jonas and Brynjölfina, both born in Iceland. They were ultimately much older than the other children in the family. Jonas began with the patronymic name of Brynjölfsson, and anglicized his last name to Arnisson, while Brynjölfina married into the Cooney family and started that branch.

Rannveig married her second husband, Einar Guđmundsson [1] (born July 17, 1834, died October 5, 1906), in Canada, with whom she had the remainder of her children (thus, the Cooneys and Arnissons are based on a half-sibling relationship to the rest of the family). Rannveig and Einar lived for two years at Engimýri (a farmstead near Gimli – Nelson Gerrard's Gimlunga Saga lists her and Einar there in 1877, so their marriage had to take place sometime in the previous two years. The book still lists her under her maiden name at that time though, and it is entirely possible that they were not yet married until later – this was much more common among Icelanders of that time than one might think). They then moved to Fagratún, on the northwest shore of Mikley (Hecla Island). Her son (my great-grandfather) Jón Triggvi Goodman (see below) was born at Mikley. When she got older, Rannveig moved to a small home on the back part of her son Jón Triggvi' s farm lot, which is now at 1987 Elgin Avenue in the Brooklands area of Winnipeg. Still later, she moved to her daughter Albina' s (see below) house on Alexander street near Arlington in Winnipeg, where she died on Sept. 9, 1922. She is buried in the Goodman family plot in Brookside cemetery, buried under the name of Rannveig Goodman.

Rannveig' s Children with Brynjölf Arnisson

Jonas Brynjölfsson (used the name Arnisson as well, known to the Goodman children as "Uncle Jonas"). Date of birth unknown, died December 1937. My Umma said they didn't see him much, and that part of the family was not close to ours, but she didn't really know why. Their family had many pictures of him [1,2,3]. He obviously married and had children, as photographs show a family with one young boy and one infant, but I have no information about them. My Umma's brother Stan (who as of this writing is 96) says he lived in Winnipegosis, and his descendants lived in the Glenboro area.

Brynjölfina Guđrun Jonina Arnisson [with her family in 1,2 (her children have almost chillingly similar faces!), and as an older woman in 3] (who was known to the Goodman children as "aunty Cooney"), was born July 13, 1863. Came to Canada with her mother at age 12. Commonly known as Ina, and also called "Buntz" (possibly never intended to be spelled that way, I've never seen it written down and am spelling it phonetically) by the JTGoodman family as a nickname – my Umma had no had no idea why. Photographs when she is older show her as a very large, well-dressed, and striking lady. Her calling card indicates that she lived at 620 Victor Street, in Winnipeg (and the 1911 census verifies this). She married George Edward Cooney (B. Nov 6, 1853 according to Lorna [below], while the 1911 census says October), at Cobourg, Ontario, raised in Peterborough Ont., died Dec. 1937). He was said to have walked to Hecla to get her to marry him. She died in 1916. Brookside cemetery lists Brynjölfina' s date of death as September 5, and George' s as December 9, but I have found Brookside' s records inaccurate sometimes due to transcription errors. Many of her descendants are also buried in Brookside Cemetery.

Brynjölfina and George had eight children (all using the last name Cooney):

Brynjölfina's husband George, along with her daughter Guđrun, came to live with daughter Georgina's family at 1979 Elgin Ave. in Winnipeg after Brynjölfina died.

Rannveig' s Children with Einar Guđmundsson

(all anglicized their last name to Goodman)

Albina (I), died of smallpox in Gimli as a young child – likely buried in the pioneer cemetery on highway 8, in one of the many unmarked graves there.

Albina (II) ("Aunty Bina") [1, the girl in 2, 3, with her family in 4, and with her husband in the bottom row of 5. My Umma is the baby in 5 being held by her Aunt Friđey, her mother's sister, rightmost in the row behind them]. Born June 7, 1878 (in the bottom of a rowboat on the move from Engimýri to Hecla), died July 25, 1934. She married Tom Dodds (he died January 3, 1957). My Umma said that Jon Triggvi, her father, had bought a house for Albina and her family to live in. There are a couple of pictures of them with two children, but I don't know the children's names. My Umma's brother Stan said that they took in the child of a girl from a wealthy Winnipeg family, by the name of Florence (so she may be the Florence mentioned above as depicted with Ena Cooney's children). She and her husband are buried in Brookside Cemetery.

Kali ("Uncle Charlie" to my Umma's family, but also anglicized to Carl) [seated in 1, to the left with his wife and his brother Jon Triggvi and wife Olof Margaret at their home in 2], died Jan. 27, 1946. Married Katrin Fredrika (Kate) Jónsdóttir (Died April 2, 1951), from Baldur [upper-left in 1, second from left in 2, leftmost in 3 at the home of Charlie's brother Jon Triggvi]. Jón Triggvi's wife (my great-grandmother) Ölof Margaret was the daughter of Kate's much-elder sister, creating a double tie between these two families (Jónsdóttir and Goodman), across two different generations). Charlie and Kate are both buried in Brookside Cemetery. Kate's family is from the Baldur district, and in addition to the surname Jónsdóttir/Jónsson, is connected (via an additional marriage or some of the patronymic naming issues, possibly) to siblings whose name was anglicized to Skardal. The fact that her siblings were spaced out in age enough for one to marry into the prior generation of the family makes a second marriage seem more likely to me, but we have little information on Kate's family. I do have first names of her siblings or half-siblings: Sigurthur, Jón, Magnus (who lived in Selkirk), Karolina (who had a son named Sam, who at one point worked at JT Goodman's dairy), Ellen (who married a George Ellis), and Anna. Which of these went by which surnames is unknown, other than Anna and Kate.

Uncle Charlie had 4 children, all depicted in [1]: Bill Goodman (rear center, also [1]) (married Alice, two children), Lena (rear right) (married surname Baldwin; there's a photograph in one of my Umma's albums of three Baldwin children, presumably these are hers), Lily (lower left, also [1]) (married surname Wright), and Aurora (lower right, also [1]) (married surname Boley, two children). My grandmother was a close cousin to Aurora and Lily (She and Lily referred to themselves as "Cousins and a Half", because of having both a maternal and paternal connection). I recall meeting Aurora a number of times, and we often visited "Aunty Lily" as we called her, since her cabin at Gimli was close to ours. Charlie Goodman had four identical cottages built for his four children in Gimli, and as of the time of this writing, Lily's is the only one that no longer exists at its present location (it was moved to farmland north of Gimli, and remains there at the time of this writing).

Jón Triggvi, born Hec1a 21 Dec., 1881, Died 21 Dec., 1937 [1, the boy in 2,3, with his dairy wagon in 4,5, with one of his dairy workers (Helgi Jonsson, right) in 6, on the right with his wife to the left of him in 7, second from right in front of his home (now 1987 Elgin Ave. and still standing at the time of this writing) with his wife and daughter on either side of him in 8]. Also commonly known as JT. Married Ölof Margaret Ölafsson (May 14, 1881-March 27, 1964) [referenced in most of the prevoius photographs, and 1,2, in 3 with her two children, in 4 with her granddaughter (my mom!), and third from the right in the back row in 5], on Sept. 1, 1904. Had two daughters who died in infancy (Rannveig, July 3, 1905 – Dec. 28, 1905, and Anna, Jan 8, 1907 - Jan 14, 1907), then Jonina Ölof Friđey (Dec. 5, 1908-April, 15, 2002) [1, 2, 3, on the right in 4, and on the lower right in 5] (my grandmother) and Stanley Lynn (Sept.8, 1912 - ) [1 with his first wife Alice, left in 2]. Jón Triggvi was a dairyman who ran a large dairy on property now occupied by Red River Community College in Winnipeg. He was also known for breeding Collies. Jón Triggvi, Ölof, and Jonina are all buried in the Goodman family plot in Brookside Cemetery.

Ölof Margaret Ölafsson was the daughter of Ölafur Ölafsson frá Espiholl, a major figure in the history of the New Iceland colony. He was the man who named Gimli, and the second President of New Iceland. His lineage is the subject of my main geneaology page. As I mentioned earlier, Ölof Margaret's aunt was Katrin, Charlie Goodman's wife (Katrin's much-elder sister Anna [1] was Ölof Margaret's mother), creating a double tie between these families.

So that's all the connections I know of. In summary, Rannveig produced five children that lived to adulthood, from two different fathers, with likely twenty years difference between the oldest and youngest. Most of those had large families themselves. As noted, many of the people mentioned here are in a group plot at Brookside Cemetery (along with Ölafur Ölafsson and his wife).